A restaurant started by two childhood friends, Marley and Dan (MAD), with shared interest in good food and fresh ingredients. Their love of food started in New York with trips to the local farmer market and their mothers good cooking. Dan went on to culinary school and worked in restaurants in New York City, and is now responsible for the menu creation at MAD Greens.
The fast casual restaurant started in their home state of Colorado, where the love of the outdoors, a healthy lifestyle and an appreciation for local food is shared among others. After several successful years in Colorado, they expanded into Arizona in 2014, which now has 5 stores, with more coming in 2016. They will also be expanding into two more states next year, one being Texas.
MAD Greens serves salads, soups and fresh juices. I got to preview their new winter menu and there many delicious surprises in store. To start, we had the hummus trio which included roasted beet hummus, spicy avocado hummus, and roasted garlic hummus. There is a big hummus craze right now, and I really liked the two unique flavors of the spicy avocado and beet hummus.
Next we got to try two different juices. The first was the Bright Buzz, which is bright orange and made with bananas, apples, carrots, pineapple, limes and bee pollen. Yes, you read that right, bee pollen. The nutritional benefit of bee pollen is the amino acid and protein benefits. The second juice was the MAD Greenie made with kale, oranges, apples and limes, a more typical hearty green juice.
The new winter soup we sampled was the Caribbean Chicken with sweet potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, white rice, red beans, Jamaican Jerk seasoning with hints of molasses and coconut. This soup had a hint of spice from the Jamaican Jerk seasoning and warmed me to the core, which was perfect on the cold day of 55 degrees when I tried it! A top pick for me this winter season in Arizona.
Next up we tried the Soleri Seasonal Salad. Not your typical salad in the least, as this salad included chocolate! Made with baby greens, unsweetened chocolate, figs, MAD spice avocado, red grapes, cotija cheese with Tabasco prickly pear vinaigrette. The blend of all the different flavors and the spice from the avocado and dressing was perfect. This is a must try salad!
Our last item of the day was the Siam I Am Quinoa Power salad, made with spinach, kale, quinoa, carrots, edamame, green onions, peanuts and ginger soy dressing. This salad was also full of flavor, and easy to add chicken or tofu too.
I was really surprised with how delicious and fresh everything was at MAD Greens. They set out wanting to changethe perception of salads being an afterthought to a meal and wanted to make them a focus for a meal. I think they accomplished this and with their wide spread success and continuing expansion, others agree also.
For more information about MAD Greens: http://www.madgreens.com/